Allen Tate Collection
John Orley Allen Tate was born near Winchester, Kentucky November 19, 1899. He graduated from Vanderbilt University Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1922.
During this time at Vanderbilt he became one of the Fugitive poets who published their magazine The Fugitive during the years 1922-1925. Later he contributed an essay
to the Agrarian manifesto I’ll Take My Stand (1930) and in 1936 he was co-editor with Herbert Agar of Who Owns America? He published poetry throughout his long career
and was an accomplished man of letters writing one novel The Fathers (1938), criticism, and biographies. Tate was also the editor at The Sewanee Review from
1944-46. He received many awards for his poetry including the Bollingen Prize in 1956 and held the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress in 1943-44.
Allen Tate was also a teacher with appointments at, among others, the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina, Princeton, New York University, and the
University of Minnesota where he taught from 1951 until his retirement in 1968.
He was married twice to the writer Caroline Gordon from 1924 to 1959. They had a daughter Nancy born in 1924. After his divorce from Caroline Gordon in 1959 he
married poet Isabella Gardner. And after his divorce from Gardner in 1966 he married his former student at Minnesota Helen Heinz. They had three sons, one of whom
died in an accident in infancy.
Tate lived in many places including England and France (on a Guggenheim Fellowship), New York, Minnesota, Sewanee, and at his farm Benfolly near Clarksville, Tennessee.
He had lifelong friendships with writers Robert Penn Warren, Donald Davidson, Andrew Lytle, Hart Crane, Ernest Hemingway, Ford Madox Ford, and John Peale Bishop.
Allen Tate died in Nashville, Tennessee in February 1979. His papers are at the
Firestone Library at
Scope and Contents
This small collection (.21 linear feet) includes personal correspondence between Allen Tate and family members Benjamin E. Tate, Sr., Benjamin E. Tate, Jr. (Chuck),
and Louise Fleishman Tate. There are also letters to J. Edgar Simmons and others, and incoming letters from Mark Van Doren, William S. Knickerbocker, and others making a
total of 39 letters. The collection also includes the Chronology and Resume of Allen Tate, typescripts of two poems and several articles by Tate.
- Outgoing Correspondence—Miscellaneous: 1931, 1937, 1960, undated (4 Letters)
- Outgoing Correspondence, Allen Tate to J.Edgar Simmons: 1949-1964 (6 Letters)
- Outgoing Correspondence, Allen Tate to Benjamin E.Tate, Sr.: 1932-1961 (11 Letters)
- Outgoing Correspondence, Allen Tate to Benjamin E. Tate, Jr. (Chuck): 1968-1974 (9 Letters)
- Outgoing Correspondence, Allen Tate to Louise Fleishman Tate and related documents: 1974 (4 Letters)
- Incoming Correspondence—Miscellaneous: 1926-27 (5 Letters)
- Personal and Biographical: Chronology of Tate’s Life 1899-1966; Resume 1974
- Writings—Poem: “The Meditteranean” typescript, signed
- Writings—Poem: “Shadow and Shade” typescript, signed
- Writings—Letter to the Editor: The Literary Review/Re: John Crowe Ransom and The Waste Land, August 4, 1923
- Writings—Article: “Mere Literature and the Lost Traveller” (4th Annual Williamson Memorial Lecture) - Reprint, July 17, 1969
- Writings—Article: “Mere Literature and the Lost Traveller” - Photocopy of typescript with note
- Writings—Article: “Some Influences of Baudelaire” in Bulletin Baudelairien - Le 31 Aout 1969, With typescript, program, and letter from W.T. Bandy
- Writings—Incomplete typescript: Sixty American Poets, A-K
- Original Register; Description of Series; Chronology, Listing of Correspondence by Tate
Overview | Complete Finding Aid (pdf)
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